Face masks, questionnaires and daily tests for COVID-19 are part of the health protocols for attendees at next month’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.
The stringent list will be in place when Democrats meet Aug. 17-20 at the Wisconsin Center in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Convention organizers released a fact-sheet Monday that provides details of public health measures to “curb the risk of disease spread among those attending the convention in Milwaukee, including guests, law enforcement, media, and staff.”
Everyone, from presumptive nominee Joe Biden on down, will have to wear a face mask.
But Biden and other main speakers will be able to take off their face masks when addressing the convention from the podium, which will be set 20 feet away from other people.
The Wisconsin Center, the convention’s main venue, will be considered a health and safety zone.
To get in, attendees will have to follow the health and safety rules.
Convention organizers are encouraging those traveling from outside Milwaukee to get tested for COVID-19 before they depart. It is required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment during travel, including a face mask.
Attendees will have to self-isolate for a minimum of 72 hours before departing for Milwaukee or on the first entry into the health and safety zone if they’re already in the city.
Everyone who attends the convention will have to agree to daily testing for COVID-19 through the Democratic National Convention Committee’s designated testing system. Results will be shared with local health authorities and convention organizers.
There will be two testing sites — one at the Wisconsin Center and another offsite.
With the convention spread across four days, attendees will also answer a daily questionnaire that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and that they did not have any known contact with people infected with COVID-19.
Social distancing — remaining 6 feet from others — will have to be maintained.
All attendees must wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Organizers are also encouraging people to protect their eyes with either goggles or a face shield.
Attendees will also have to wear a mask whenever they are outside their hotel room or residence.
And those coming to the convention are being told to “avoid bars, restaurants, and other locations where social distancing is not possible or not practiced.”
Convention organizers have spent several months building up adequate supplies of PPE and testing so they don’t affect the medical supply chain. A local lab is providing swabs for the testing.
The DNCC brought in two experts to help with the protocols: Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, and Larry Brilliant, a former professor of epidemiology.
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the convention is our top priority,” said convention spokesperson Katie Peters. “After consultation with public health officials, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) will implement robust health and safety protocols that will govern the convention’s in-person activities and keep attendees safe before and during the convention.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett praised the convention’s health protocols as being “thoughtful and thorough.”
“While it is important to protect every person attending the convention, it is also important to protect the entire Milwaukee community,” Barrett said in a statement. “These protocols establish reasonable requirements in order to prevent additional COVID-19 infections in Milwaukee.”